There are myriad digital marketing tactics to choose from, including marketing automation, social marketing campaigns, paid search advertising, and email newsletters, among numerous others. So, which initiatives should you pursue?
Let’s discuss how sending an email newsletter could be beneficial for your firm and the basics of how to create and implement an email newsletter campaign. Like with all other aspects of digital marketing, the right amount of planning, strategy, and execution will increase the chances of success.
Begin by asking yourself a few questions:
- Why do I need an email newsletter?
- Would my clients read one on a regular basis?
- How do I go about creating and sending an email newsletter?
Why Send an Email Newsletter?
Meet Clients Where They Are
One of the best attributes of an email newsletter is that it allows you to meet your clients where they are on the device they’re using. Americans check their email constantly throughout the day, which is why it’s such a great tool for keeping in touch with your clients and customers. Reports indicate that nearly 90% of marketers use email marketing as a primary source of generating leads. Further, on average, consumers in the United States connect with 11 brands each day via email — that’s more than the daily brand interaction consumers get on Facebook and Twitter.
Ideally, those who receive your newsletter have purposefully subscribed to it — meaning they actually want to receive it. Once the newsletter appears in their inbox, they can open it at their leisure on their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Your customers will get to consume your content whenever is most convenient for them.
Communicate Relevant and Trustworthy Content
An email newsletter is a convenient, non-invasive way for you to communicate relevant and trustworthy content with your clients directly. Whether you’re a lawyer, healthcare provider, or retail store, you want your clients to be able to depend on you and your business to get them the information they want when they want it. When consumers and clients can really trust the timely content you provide, they will be more likely to think of you when they are in need.
Increase Website Traffic and Sales
Email newsletters increase website traffic and sales. Well-designed, informative email newsletters make people want to know more, resulting in increased web traffic — often through a link available in the email newsletter.
If you’re selling a product or service, there’s even more good news: Reports show that, in 2015, more than 40% of email newsletter subscribers made a purchase decision based on an email they received. Studies have also shown that consumers who make purchasing decisions based on email newsletters often spend more money than those who don’t.
Improve Visibility and Build Your Brand
Whether you’re selling bedsheets, promoting a practice area, or reminding patients to get their flu shots, an email newsletter can help you improve your brand’s visibility and make your brand stronger. Appearing in your customer’s inbox every so often keeps your brand front and center in their minds and provides another way for your target market to connect with your business.
RELATED: Email Marketing Basics: List Building and Growth
How to Send an Email Newsletter
Email newsletters should be easy to build, easy to read, and easy to opt-in and opt-out of. Let’s examine these elements a bit more closely.
If you are a business owner with a busy schedule or your marketing department is spread too thin, you’ll want to choose an email marketing service that is easy to use and intuitive with ready-made professional templates. Email marketing services like Emma, MailChimp, and Constant Contact are reasonably priced and provide responsive templates that look great no matter which device your lead is using.
Follow these general guidelines to get started:
- Set up and use the same template for every email newsletter.
This will make the administration side of your email newsletter program more manageable and efficient. Your customers and clients will also become familiar with the layout and know where to look for the items they’re most interested in.
- Make changes slowly.
As you get more comfortable with the email program, how it works, and how receptive your clients are to it, you can begin to make subtle changes to improve the look of it. Making big changes all at once can create more work for you.
- Reach out to professionals.
If you’d like to have a customized template design, interesting and dynamic graphics, and/or more compelling content, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional designer or writer to help with specific design elements or content strategy and development.
Consider the Content and Design
Consider the content you’d like to deliver to your customers’ inboxes. Best practices dictate that email newsletter content should follow the 90/10 rule: 90 percent of the content should be educational or informative while the other 10 percent can be promotional. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What content do you already have on your website that you can share?
This will provide a baseline to include in each newsletter.
- Can you create new content (blog articles, news releases, service or practice area pages, etc.) consistently and efficiently?
The answer to this question will help determine the frequency of your email newsletter.
- What do your customers want to know?
Your customers already know that you sell certain products or provide a certain service, but do they know how those products or services can affect their lives in the short and long term?
- What kind of email newsletters do you like to receive?
Thinking about the content and information you find valuable is a good indicator of what your customers or clients might like to receive.
Creating a content strategy made from the guidelines above will help guide how your email newsletters are designed.
People often open marketing emails as a break in their day, so opening your email newsletter should be easy on the eyes.
Here are a couple guidelines to remember:
- Keep the design simple and professional.
Busy and/or overwhelming design can distract from the messaging. Do your best to limit the use of colors, fonts, and graphic elements.
- Easy on the details.
Depending on the content you are sharing in your newsletters, it’s best to go light on the details and encourage readers to visit your website for more information. If you’re connecting readers with a blog article, simply redirect them to an existing page. If you are promoting a special sale, service, or event, create a dedicated landing page on your site to provide more information. This will keep your newsletter light on detail while providing avenues for more and better information.
Building a List: Opt-In and Opt-Out
It’s important that your audience actually wants your newsletter. Provide multiple opportunities throughout your website for users to sign up and opt-in to your newsletter list. You can prompt organic list-building by encouraging users to fill out an online form to download ebooks, infographics, or case studies on your website.
It’s also important to make sure those who do not want to receive emails from you don’t. Every email should include an unsubscribe link (most email marketing templates will have this built in). Industry best practice is not to use purchased lists to send your emails. These individuals didn’t sign up for your newsletter, and it that fact will negatively affect your open, bounce, and deliverability rates.
When using email to communicate with consumers, make sure to read more about the CAN-SPAM Act, which dictates the requirements commercial business email sends. Be sure to follow rules and regulations to avoid being black-listed. If you have any questions on list-building and lead-nurturing, reach out to us. We’re pretty good at it around here!
RELATED: Our Editorial Process for Creating Truly Outstanding Website Content
Contact LaFleur To Start Your Email Newsletter Today
Here at LaFleur, we know a thing or two about email newsletters and digital marketing. We can put that knowledge to work to help you build and grow your business for sustainable success.
When it comes to your business, we have a team of expert marketers who look at your business as a whole to approach your marketing efforts from a defined strategic perspective. Call us at (888) 222-1512 or complete this brief form to learn more about starting an email newsletter program or any other marketing initiative.
RELATED: The Most Successful Legal Marketing Strategies of 2017
8 Reasons Your Business Should Send Out Newsletters. (2016, October 31). Sales Wings App. Retrieved from https://www.saleswingsapp.com/email-marketing/why-you-should-send-out-newsletters/
Malamut, C. (2016, April 4). Statistics that Prove Email Marketing is (Still) Not Dead. Capterra. Retrieved from https://blog.capterra.com/statistics-email-marketing-not-dead/
Mineo, G. (2015, April 21). How to Create an Email Newsletter People Actually Read. HubSpot. Retrieved from https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/guide-creating-email-newsletters-ht